Dr. Howard Levin, 83 of Cherry Hill, physician for the Mantua Township elementary schools from 1960 to 1994, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Cherry Hill.

In 1997, the Department of Family Medicine of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy named him Teacher of the Year, his wife, Joy, said in a phone interview.

Dr. Levin grew up in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia, graduated from Central High School, earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953, and graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1958.

"He wanted to be a physician ever since he was 8 years old," his wife said.

After graduating from Penn, she said, "he worked as a chemist for a year, and then applied to the College of Osteopathic Medicine."

While there, the college presented him with an award for his work on cancer research.

At graduation, she said, "he was fifth in his class."

The Levins were married on Dec. 28, 1958.

Florane Cyrelson recalled Dr. Levin as a good friend and neighbor who was affectionate with cats.

"The Levins were cat lovers, and we had cats and we always enjoyed one another's pets," Cyrelson said of her husband, George, and the Levins.

"Presently, we have two Maine coons," she said, cats "that rushed over to Howard to have him pet them."

Dr. Levin "was a very sensitive man," Cyrelson said, "with a terrific sense of humor."

Besides serving Mantua Township schools, Dr. Levin was a general practitioner from 1959 into 1994 and was a consultant since 1995 at Kennedy Hospital.

From 1990 to 2011, he was a clinical assistant professor for family medicine at the School of Osteopathic Medicine of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Stratford.

Dr. Levin was a member of Mensa, which describes itself as "the international high-IQ society."

Dr. Levin was a member of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and a member of its Tri-County Society. He also was a member of the American Osteopathic Association and the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.

Dr. Levin was a member of Congregation Beth El when it was in Cherry Hill.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Levin is survived by daughters Ellen Yahney and Debbie Levin, and a sister.

Services are to be private.

Donations may be sent to Make-A-Wish New Jersey, 1347 Perrinville Rd., Monroe, N.J. 08831, or http://nj.wish.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.